There's a lovely little story this weekend about the service that Bishop William Lawrence performed during a serious labor dispute back in the first decade of the last century. It was dispute between a newspaper publisher and a union that centered on wages. Bishop Lawrence was asked to service as an arbitrator in the dispute.
The interesting bit of the story was the bishop's observation that what mattered in the settling of the dispute was not the solution per se, but that the arbitrator had the trust of both sides.
"My decision met with approval on both sides. As a matter of fact, I judge that if in such a case both parties have confidence in the good sense, fairness, and intelligence of the arbiter, they are content, even if things do not go altogether as they wish.”
Do you think this is still true in the secular world today? Any chance that our bishop's could still serve in such a role in a community dispute?
How about in the church?